By MaryClaire Schulz
A summer at camp is always filled with smiles, laughter and days of fun, but the most unfortunate part of summer is that it always comes to an end. Though saying goodbye (or “see you later” as we like to here at Camp North Star) is undoubtedly the most difficult and saddest part of a session, we believe it is still a meaningful time for reflecting on the ways campers have grown and changed and all of the great times they’ve had during the summer.
The beginning of the end of camp always begins with a fun-filled day. Whether it is spent on a trip off-camp or just having a relaxing day of fun activities on camp (like Carnival Day this past session), campers get to spend extra time laughing and having fun with their friends and counselors.
That evening, campers get fancy for a banquet dinner served in the dining hall. Amidst a delicious meal, campers will view a slideshow of photos of them and their friends taken during the session. After dessert, camp director Sue will award RICHS to six special campers who have demonstrated camp’s core values (Respect, Independence, Caring, Honor, Spirit, and overall RICHS). A time-honored Camp North Star tradition, the RICHS ceremony at one of the premier camps in Maine is always an emotional time for campers and staff alike.
After dinner, campers are sent back to cabins to change into warm clothes and then head to the campfire ring for Closing Campfire. The acts that campers and staff perform at Closing Campfire are usually sentimental and reminiscent, and there’s no shortage of tears during this final evening program. From Closing Campfire, counselors will lead their cabins to the waterfront for a lantern ceremony. Each cabin receives a small lantern that they send off into the lake in remembrance of the great times they spent together. The campers end the night by gathering on their porches for a goodbye line, in which campers walk down the line of cabins and wave “see you later” to their friends.
Though the end of camp is always tinged with a little bit of sadness, the time spent fondly remembering all of the awesome memories made that summer never fails to bring the session to a happy end.